We had an email yesterday from one of our customers, a newcomer to the world of homebrew, who are just on to their second brew, a Bad Cat, Imperial Red Ale, one of Bulldog Brews premium craft ale kits.
They where concerned that, despite following the instructions of the kit to the letter, their brew wasn’t doing what it was supposed to at the particular stage they were at, which was the clearing stage, which, according to the instructions, should have been happening a week after secondary fermentation.
They stated that at this stage with their previous brew, a Ritchie’s Simply Bitter kit (done in November last year), everything was tickety boo and their brew cleared, just as the instructions had said it would.
Our response to this was that this is not an unknown issue, especially in warmer weather, a week is a bit early so it should be given more time.
Funnily enough we’d had a customer in the shop the day before whose beer had not cleared after 9 weeks, which is a bit unusual, but that’s one of the joys of home brew, it’s never the same twice.
You can improve the chance of clearing by adding finings but they need to go in at bottling stage. As our customer had barrelled theirs, we suggested they could put some in, but that would mean throwing some brew away, then re-gassing it, otherwise we advised them to JWL, a technical acronym for Just Wait Longer!!
Another thing to note here is that it clears from the top, so it might be doing OK, but it just hasn't reached the tap yet.
So were now waiting patiently do see what the outcome will be for our novice brewer, hopefully it will be the desired result and they’ll soon be enjoying the rewards of brewing their own craft beer, at home.
Hope this ‘clears’ things up!
PS - We have covered some of the quirky traits of yeast in a previous blog ‘Help Nothing’s Happening’, but it’s always good to put these issues in to context.